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women on the move - header
mujeres en marcha

Congress "Women en route"

Violence and displacement in five regions of Africa

Bilbao, 18 and 19 October 2018

University of Deusto – Centenary Auditorium, Bilbao, 18 and 19 October.

organize: ALBOAN and University of Deusto


Women en route: Violence and displacement in five regions of Africa

Every day 44.400 people  find themeselves forced to flee from their countries due to poverty and violence. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo alone there are over five million people, mostly women, in this situation.

On their way to Europe, taking refuge in neighbouring countries or displaced in their home country, women are subject to situations of extreme vulnerability and violence, with no access to basic human rights.

Congreso "Mujeres en Marcha" - Retrato de mujer

Last year, a private legacy enabled the ALBOAN Foundation to set up the MIEZA program. This program was designed to reinforce the foundation’s work in supporting women who undergo violence, in order to guarantee their physical and emotional well-being, as well as their social reinsertion, and to help them determine and own their own futures. 

In October 2017, and in cooperation with the Universidad de Deusto, the Jesuit Refugees service and the Vedruna sisters, we began a stage of diagnosis. This led us to visit five parts of Africa where we held personal and group interviews with refugees and displaced women. We were able to obtain first-hand accounts of the violent experiences they had undergone during their migratory travels, as well as hear their demands and expectations.

ponientes congreso mujeres en marcha

At the International Congress entitled “Women en route: violence and displacement in five regions of Africa” we want to expose the situation and demands of these women, share the results of the diagnostic reviews and reflect on the improvements needed in our practices to face up to this reality.

To this end we will be assisted by well-known activists in Human Rights and women’s rights such as Victoria Nyanjura from Uganda, Justine Masika from DR Congo, Caddy Adzuba and Itziar Ruiz Gimenez, among others, as well as representatives of universities, public institutions, African organisations and international humanitarian aid organisations.


Program (download here as a pdf)

Thursday 18 October: a look at the reality



Opening and Welcome to the Congress.
Jose María Guibert sj. Rector of the University of Deusto.

Tribute to Rafael Mieza.
Mateo Aguirre sj. Assistant Director, ALBOAN.

Presentation of the International Congress.
María del Mar Magallón. Director, ALBOAN.


Violence in Africa and its impact on women. Female empowerment after violence: how to start afresh?
Victoria Nyanjura. A Ugandan activist, expert in transitional justice and sexual violence in war settings



First-hand experiences: The impact of violence on women at frontiers and their coping strategies.
Wassima Foukay. Psychologist, Migrations Delegation of the Diocese of Tangier


Violence in war settings: Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Justine Mashika Bihamba. Director, Synergie des Femmes, DRC



15.00-15.30Music performance: Eneko Larrañaga "ENEKORA"  

Mieza program: A comprehensive approach to the situation of displaced and refugee women in Africa. 
Leire Morquecho. Head of the International Cooperation Area , ALBOAN.

Women talk: Diagnosing realities and dreams in 5 regions of Africa.
Sabina Barone. Researcher and author of the diagnostic reviews.
Odette Dede Houedakor. Diagnostic team

17.30-18.45Echoes of diagnosis.
Itziar Ruiz Giménez. Coordinator of the African Studies Group of the UAM.
Caddy Adzuba. Activist for women’s rights, DRC.
Pepe Naranjo. Freelance journalist, specialist in western Africa
18.45-19.00Conclusions of the day
Dani Villanueva sj, Executive Vice President of ALBOAN Foundation.

Friday 19 October: The challenges of this reality: how can we help change it?

09.00-09.30​Registration of attendees


Session opening: Storytelling Show “El Canto de la Guarura” by Cruz Noguera.


Round table 1. From our institutions: What changes should be made to contribute to transform this reality?
Celinda Sanz Velasco. Head of Gender and Protection at the Humanitarian Action Office, AECID.
Flaminia Vola. Regional Coordinator, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Migrants and Refugees Section, Vatican.
Cristina Manzanedo. Lawyer, ÖDOS Project. 
Pilar Díez. Technical expert, Basque Agency for Development Cooperation



Round table 2. From the humanitarian sector: New practices for new realities. 
Tom Smolich sj. Director, Jesuit Service for Refugees. 
Laia Luthi. Protection Advisor, Oxfam.
Eva García Bouzas. Head of the Global Cluster Protection support cell, ACNUR.


The paths ahead. Closing of the Congress.
María del Mar Magallón. Director, ALBOAN